Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Birthday Ian!

Happy Birthday Ian! Has it really been 4 years since you came to us? I'm amazed by all the stuff you're learning how to do, and I love that you love Disneyland!
Let's go there on your birthday!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fall 2017 Dapper Day weekend - Saturday

The great part about being in the Grand Californian Hotel is that as soon as you wake up, you can walk right out the door at be inside Disney's California Adventure.
Ian really wants to be tall enough for "that water ride". Those tiptoes didn't fool the cast member though. Just a couple more inches buddy.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fall 2017 Dapper Day weekend - Friday

There's a few special events that go on at Disneyland that we try not to miss each year. One of those events is Dapper Day weekend!
We visit Disneyland almost every week and our strategy is usually always the same thing. Arrive early, leave by 2pm before all the crowds arrive. When it's the Dapper weekend though, everything changes. Because the organizers have so many people participating, they've been able to negotiate for the group rate at the Disney hotels. Our preferred hotel, the Grand Californian is nearly half off!
So, instead of just coming for a short day trip, we're spending the entire weekend at Disneyland!

Ian still remembers some of our past Dapper trips, and occasionally when we're inside the parks and walk by the hotel, he'll ask if we're sleeping there tonight. Both Ian and Alli were very excited to hear that we'd be sleeping at the hotel by Disneyland all weekend.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Weekend Disneyland visit

Happy Sunday and welcome to Disneyland!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Happy Birthday Celebration Alli and Ian!

With a birthday in October and a birthday in November, we split the difference and have a combined birthday party! And because it's so close to Halloween, I know what the theme is going to be!

Plus it's a costume party!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Disneyland Halloween weekend #5 - with Gram and Pop Pop

It's the weekend and we've got visitors! Gram and Pop Pop are here!
They didn't want to change our normal routine so on Saturday we all headed to Disneyland!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tanaka Farms 2017 - Pumpkin Patch

Welcome to Tanaka Farms!
Technically it's Fall, but you wouldn't know it based on the weather here. High 80s and no clouds in the sky. We'd originally planned to go to a pumpkin patch weeks ago, but the temps were in the high 90s!
A few of our neighbors took the 45 minute drive south with us.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Halloween Time at the Disney Resort, weekend #4 Goofy's Kitchen

Dinner time!
What better place to celebrate with kids than at Goofy's Kitchen! All-you-can-eat plus Disney characters? Yes please!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Halloween Time at the Disney Resort, weekend #4 with Family

Theresa has family in town this weekend. Her cousin and his family, plus her Aunt. They like Disney. We like Disney. Let's go to Disneyland!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Halloween Time at the Disney Resort, weekend #3

Do we ever get tired of going to Disneyland?
The kids certainly don't. During the week, they'll ask us "How many more days of work?" And when it gets to be just a couple, they'll ask how many more days until Disneyland. And the night before we go, they still get excited and tell each other "Tomorrow is Disneyland!"
Last night they were both still excited as they were going to sleep. T told them to think of other happy things, like rainbows and puppies. "And cows!" said Ian. "And Disneyland!" said Alli.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Halloween Time at the Disney Resort, weekend #2

Chip, Chip, Chip, and Dale (Rescue Rangers!)

It's the weekend, so it's time for another trip to Disneyland. They're still decorated for Halloween, so we were happy to come in fun hats again.
After seeing what all I had in my Disney hat bin, Ian decided that this week he wanted to go as Chip and Dale. "And I want to be Dale." Ian said. That works. I just so happen to have 3 (yes three) Chip hats. Mine actually came all the way from Disneyland Paris. It also gave me an excuse to wear my Chip and Dale t-shirt.
And of course on the drive to the park, we listened to the Rescue Rangers theme song.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Jolly Time Popcorn - new flavors!

Every once in a while when we're out shopping I'll find something unique that I know I'll have to sample. Today it was Jolly Time popcorn in three interesting flavors!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort

It's Halloween Time!
Actually it's still the middle of September, but at the Disneyland Resort, Halloween is in full swing, having officially kicked off the season on September 15th.
It's always fun to have something new to do at Disneyland and both kids were really excited to be celebrating Halloween already.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

2017 Disneyland Half Marathon

Labor Day weekend means it's time for the Disneyland Half Marathon!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

2017 Disneyland Kids Race

It's Saturday morning and it's time for the Disneyland Kids Races!

Friday, September 1, 2017

2017 Disneyland Half Marathon Race Expo

It's Labor Day weekend which means it must be time for the Disneyland Half Marathon! Yay!

Monday, August 21, 2017

After the Eclipse

After seeing the amazing eclipse and then chatting with the people parked next to us for half an hour it was time to head back home. Little did we know there was another fun adventure awaiting us.

Chasing the 2017 Eclipse

Monday, August 14th, 11pm.
T minus 6 days, 12 hours before the eclipse

Theresa - "We should go see the eclipse!"
Joe - "Sounds like fun!"

What followed next was a mad scramble to get flights booked, a rental car reserved, lodging figured out, plus whatever else we'd need for the trip. But whenever you give T a goal, you know she'll be amazing at figuring out how to make it all work.

First stop was the NASA Interactive Eclipse Tracker. What an awesome resource for helping us pick the best spot for viewing. So the path of totality (where the sun is completely covered by the moon) is going from east to west inside those two blue lines. The closer you get to the red line, the longer the total eclipse will last. The longest duration this time is 2 minutes and 40.2 seconds. Let's see how we are in Los Angeles!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ian turns 40

Forty inches that is. That's a big milestone for Disneyland! At 40" a whole new world of rides opens up!

Stand up straight. You're there!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Manoa Falls Hike and more Malasadas - Day 8 and 9 - 2017-04-06 and 2017-04-07

Finally getting back around to the Hawaii trip. It's been an eventful couple of months.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

2017 Belmont Shore Stroll and Savor - June

It's the start of summer, which means once again it's time for the Belmont Shore Stroll and Savor. I don't know how she times it so well, but Rita always happens to be out here for it. Let's go eat!

Friday, June 23, 2017

2017 Pasadena Chalk Festival - Silent Auction

Entry into the Pasadena Chalk Festival is free after your first year. The only thing the organizers request is a 12"x12" painting that can be auctioned off. All the proceeds go to the Light Bringer Project which brings art to the children of Pasadena and the greater Los Angeles area.

Since it was my year to choose the mural, it was also my year to provide the painting. Obviously we're doing a rectangular poster for our mural. I wanted the painting to match our mural, so I had to figure out a way to make the rectangular poster fit on a square canvas. In the end, I moved Adventureland to the side and tried to made it more wood tones.
There's one other change I made to the poster. The classic poster calls it the Jungle River. I've changed it to what's it's more commonly known as, Jungle Cruise.

2017 Pasadena Chalk Festival - Day 2

Happy Fathers Day!
The reason for all the hard work on the mural yesterday was so that today we could all go up to the festival together. I didn't need to drive up early to put in hours and hours of work.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 Pasadena Chalk Festival - Jungle Cruise time-lapse

I set up my Go-Pro to take a photo every 10 seconds. 5 batteries and 11 hours later, I was able to put together a time-lapse of our creation of the Jungle Cruise poster.

2017 Pasadena Chalk Festival - Day 1

Welcome to the 2017 Pasadena Chalk Festival! It's the 25th anniversary of the festival and it's the 3rd year for Ruston and I to participate. The first year we made a Ducktales mural. The second year was The Iron Giant. What to do this year though... It's can't be too detailed. We both like Disney. How about a retro Disneyland poster? There were a few good options, but when I told Ruston we could dress like Jungle Cruise skippers and tell corny jokes, I think that sealed the deal. Jungle Cruise it is!
After a practice session in my driveway a few weeks before, the day was finally here to do it for real!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Kuliouou Ridge Hike - Day 7 - 2017-04-05

Hawaii, Day 7.
Yesterday there was a bit of running around the island. Everyone is doing their own thing. My parents are hanging out at the house with Ian and Alli. The rest of the family is visiting Pearl Harbor. And Theresa and I got some time for ourselves and decided to hike to the top of a hill.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Koko Head Crater Hike - Day 5 and 6 - 2017-04-03 and 2017-04-04

Well after a very eventful evening with Alli in the ER, I could use a down day. Monday was just a day to hang out at the house.
The next day, we'd have plenty of stuff to do and see.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Practicing for the Pasadena Chalk Festival and Bring Your Own Cup Slurpee Day

This will be my third year participating in the Pasadena Chalk Festival. Even though Ruston and I are old pros at this by now, we still think it's important to practice what we're doing ahead of time. This year we're paying tribute to classic Disneyland with a recreation of one of the original posters.
In trying to decide which poster to do, I asked Ruston and he commented "Something with not a lot of black." I'm with you on that one. It's super hot every year and that black just absorbs the heat.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Waimea Valley Tour - Day 4 - 2017-04-02

It's certainly been a full day of adventure. To start the day we hiked up Diamond Head. Then we all went to the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Now we're finishing it all off with a tour of the Waimea Valley.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Dole Plantation Grille, Dole Whip, and Garden Tour - Day 4 - 2017-04-02

It used to be that the only place to get a delicious Dole Whip was at Disneyland or the Dole Pineapple Plantation. That has since changed and you can now get a Dole Whip in quite a few places. Still, we couldn't visit without getting one.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dole Pineapple Plantation and Pineapple Express - Day 4 - 2017-04-02

Since we're on the island of Oahu, there was a "must do" on our list. It's the Dole Pineapple Plantation! Dole sponsors one of our favorite rides back at Disneyland, The Enchanted Tiki Room, plus they serve the always delicious Dole Whip at Disneyland too.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Farmer's Market, Swap Meet, Gelato - Day 3 - 2017-04-01

Happy Saturday from Hawaii! Very pretty girls. I love the beautiful flowers.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Eat the Street, Oahu - Day 2 - 2017-03-31

In making a list of all the things we wanted to do while we were in Hawaii, eating lots of food was high on the list. The Eat the Street festival at Kaka'ako Park, featuring 40 different food vendors was a must do!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hanauma Bay and Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail hike - Day 2 - 2017/03/31

After having a day to recover at the house from the flight, we had quite the day planned.
Yesterday we only had an hour to explore Hanauma Bay before it closed for the night. Today we were there before dawn. As a bonus, if you're there early enough, you don't have to pay to enter!
All of us watched as the sun peeked over the horizon, giving us enough light to see all the fish.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Giant family vacation to Hawaii - Day 1 - 2017/03/30

Every year we like to do at least one big family vacation with Theresa's family. Normally this would be a trip to Walt Disney World out in Florida. This year though we'd intended to do something a little bigger. Korea! Being the queen of travel deals, Theresa had her entire family plus some of my family working to get airline and hotel miles so we could all fly out there and stay for free! In the end, Korea didn't happen, but here everyone was with a ton of airline miles just waiting to be spent. Cue Hawaii!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

2017 Downtown Disney Eggstravaganza - 2017-04-15

Two down, one to go. We had a great time finding eggs in Disneyland and California Adventure. Now it's time to find eggs in Downtown Disney.

2017 Disney California Adventure Eggstravaganza - 2017-04-15

After a very successful egg hunt over at Disneyland, it was time to continue the egg-stravaganza at Disney California Adventure. Right at the entrance there was a photo op that we took advantage of.

2017 Disneyland Eggstravaganza - 2017-04-15

It's the 2017 Disneyland Egg-stravaganza!
I had been wondering if it would be back this year. Disney took a really long time to announce it this year, waiting until March 21st to announce that the hunt begin on April 1st and last only 16 days.
The Flowers family had already made plans to be on vacation in early April, so I was really worried we weren't going to be able to participate this year. My fears were justified too, because Disneyland sold out of all the maps on April 12th, before I was able to get to the resort and pick them up.
Luckily for us, Jacob grab one of each map for us while we were away! Thanks Jacob!

Easter Baskets and Easter Egg Hunt

Happy Easter! The Easter Bunny came to visit us!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Decorating Easter Eggs

Happy Easter! Time to decorate some eggs!

Easter at Disneyland

Happy Saturday before Easter! The Flowers family is headed to Disneyland to take part of the festivities!

Saturday, March 25, 2017


It doesn't ever get old. No matter how many times we go, it's always smiles when we're here.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


You know the drill by now right? Weekend = Disneyland. Yes the kids are spoiled. And perhaps the adults too.
With security lines and tram lines backed up at the Mickey and Friends parking structure, once again Theresa and I decided to get some extra steps in and start walking to the entrance. Seeing a short line at the Monorail, we hopped in line and made it our first ride of the day.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Be Our Guest... At Disneyland

Happy Friday! It's a little surprising to us, but we're at Disneyland today. We'd planned to be out in Colorado visiting our newest niece but that trip fell through. Ian was really looking forward to it. Instead, we're off work today and headed to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Last Day in Florida, Flying to Michigan

It's our last day in Florida. :(
After cleaning up the house, all of us headed into Disney Springs. Our flights out tonight aren't until 6pm, so we've got most of the day ahead of us.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017